Community Volunteers during the training
“I am surrounded by children every day. My superpower is taking care of children and helping them form a foundation that will guide them for the rest of their lives,” says Solommey. Solommey is a kindergarten teacher and volunteers her time in her community. She supports women in her community by providing maternal and child health education.
Solommey during the training
Sylvia has been volunteering with women in her community for the last 7 years, empowering them with business skills and teaching them how to save. She, however, says that there is one thing that has been missing in her community. “I have noticed that there was a gap in supporting families to take care of and raise their children.”
Sylvia during the training
This month, Solommey and Sylvia joined a group of over 50 fellow community volunteers for a four-day training session on the importance of family-based care and why children need to grow up in safe and loving families. “I want to do more for the children and families in my community,” says Sylvia.
Community volunteers are a big part of keeping families together. They advocate for the rights of children and encourage families to care for their children, rather than placing their children in orphanages.
“There is a need for more volunteers to support families in our communities. More community volunteers mean more children growing up in safe and loving families,” says Maureen, our Learning and Development Manager.
After the training, we asked Solommey and Sylvia what they had learned. As Sylvia pondered for a minute, Solommey was quick to point that the training had expanded her views on the rights of children. “I did not know what to expect when I came here. I have realised that we are not taking care of children the right way. Now I know that children grow up well when they are with their families. From now on, I will be advocating for children to grow up in families and not orphanages.”
Sylvia, sited next to her, nods her head in agreement and shared with us “ I will no longer promote separation of children with their families. I am going to sensitise my community and let them know that a family is the best place for a child to grow.”
Solommey and Sylvia look at each other with a knowing smile, aware that they have been equipped with the tools to help families stay together in their communities.